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Retirement Assets Total $26.1 Trillion in First Quarter 2017

Washington, DC, June 22, 2017 – Total US retirement assets were $26.1 trillion as of March 31, 2017, up 3.2 percent from December 31, 2016. Retirement assets accounted for 34 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of March 2017.

US Total Retirement Market
Trillions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods

e Data are estimated.

Note: For definitions of plan categories, see Table 1 in "The US Retirement Market, First Quarter 2017." Components may not add to the total because of rounding.

Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, Department of Labor, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division

Assets in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) totaled $8.2 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 4.1 percent from the end of the fourth quarter of 2016. Defined contribution (DC) plan assets were $7.3 trillion at the end of the first quarter, up 3.7 percent from year-end 2016. Government defined benefit (DB) plans— including federal, state, and local government plans—held $5.5 trillion in assets as of the end of March, a 2.1 percent increase from the end of December. Private-sector DB plans held $3.0 trillion in assets at the end of the first quarter of 2017, and annuity reserves outside of retirement accounts accounted for another $2.1 trillion.

Retirement Assets by Type
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, 2016:Q4–2017:Q1

e Data are estimated.

Sources: Investment Company Institute and Federal Reserve Board

Defined Contribution Plans

Americans held $7.3 trillion in all employer-based DC retirement plans on March 31, 2017, of which $5.0 trillion was held in 401(k) plans. In addition to 401(k) plans, at the end of the first quarter, $565 billion was held in other private-sector DC plans, $932 billion in 403(b) plans, $290 billion in 457 plans, and $484 billion in the Federal Employees Retirement System’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). Mutual funds managed $3.2 trillion, or 64 percent, of assets held in 401(k) plans at the end of March 2017. With $1.9 trillion, equity funds were the most common type of funds held in 401(k) plans, followed by $890 billion in hybrid funds, which include target date funds.

401(k) Plan Assets
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods

Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, and Department of Labor

Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs held $8.2 trillion in assets at the end of the first quarter of 2017. Forty-eight percent of IRA assets, or $3.9 trillion, was invested in mutual funds. With $2.1 trillion, equity funds were the most common type of funds held in IRAs, followed by $865 billion in hybrid funds.

IRA Market Assets
Billions of dollars, end-of-period, selected periods

e Data are estimated.

Sources: Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division

Other Developments

Retirement entitlements include both retirement assets and the unfunded liabilities of DB plans. Under a DB plan, employees accrue benefits to which they are legally entitled and which represent assets to US households and liabilities to plans. To the extent that pension plan assets are insufficient to cover accrued benefit entitlements, a DB pension plan has a claim on the plan sponsor.

As of March 31, 2017, US total retirement entitlements were $30.3 trillion, including $26.1 trillion of retirement assets and another $4.2 trillion of unfunded liabilities. Including both retirement assets and unfunded liabilities, retirement entitlements accounted for 39 percent of the financial assets of all US households at the end of March.

Unfunded liabilities are a larger issue for government DB plans than for private-sector DB plans. As of the end of the first quarter of 2017, unfunded liabilities were 13 percent of private-sector DB plan entitlements, 32 percent of state and local government DB plan entitlements, and 54 percent of federal DB plan entitlements.

US Total Retirement Entitlements
Trillions of dollars, end-of-period, 2017:Q1

e Data are estimated.

Note: Components may not add to the total because of rounding.

Source: Investment Company Institute

The quarterly retirement data tables are available at “The US Retirement Market, First Quarter 2017.”